In our Byte of the Week from a couple weeks ago, we highlighted how mental health is one of the emerging issues in college sports. But, it is also important to recognize that the broader issues involving student-athlete health and safety are now considered the highest areas of organizational risk for colleges and universities.
The NCAA has recently published a document, which has been endorsed by 14 major medical associations, outlining the association-wide recommendations for the prevention of catastrophic injury and death in student-athletes. The document is intended to reshape the landscape of medical oversight in college sports and highlights six key areas of prevention including the use of the helmet as a weapon, protective equipment, strength and conditioning, emergency action plans, responsibilities of athletic personnel, and education.
It is critical that our member schools continue to be proactive in this area by aiming to meet the requirements of such recommendations. Having served on the University of Maryland’s Commission, my alma mater, investigating the tragic death of football player, Jordan McNair, I cannot stress how important it is to develop a culture committed to student-athlete health, well-being, and safety – there is nothing more important.